Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hybrid Cars Pose Danger to Blind People

People cross the street using their eyes to determine if it's safe. The blind on the other hand, use their ears to determine if cars are coming or going. But car technology is changing fast, and where there used to be noisy combustion cars, there are now quieter hybrids that are semi electric or hydrogen-powered and these are the ones that pose risk to the blind.

According to the American Council for the Blind, government officials should push for ways to make the streets safer for blind and visually-impaired people who rely on hearing while on the street. Council Executive Director Melanie Brunson says "Without those sound cues, a blind or visually impaired person is at serious risk."

Dr. Karen Gourgey, a member of the council's environmental access committee, says even people with non-impaired vision use sounds to determine safety while on the streets. In response to the problem, the U.S. Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration held its first public meeting on the matter.

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